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Sunday, December 21, 2008

From April, just call in to file your RTI application

Hindustan Times
New Delhi: Metro; pg 1
December 15, 2008
Chetan Chauhan
New Delhi
FROM NEXT April, you will be able to file a Right to Information (RTI) application from your MTNL phone. All you will need to do is call a number and place your request; you won’t have to go anywhere or fill forms.

The phone requests will be handled by a national call centre, which will be run jointly by the ministry of information technology and a non-governmental organisation, Kabir. They are in the last stages of setting up the place and equipping it.

The centre, which is Congress chief Sonia Gandhi’s idea, will take calls from across the country A regional call . centre has already been in operation in Bihar, and it has done well “despite low literacy and poor access to telephone”, said an official.

There will be no extra charge for processing your phone request. The fee will remain the same at Rs 10 — the amount charged for every RTI application — and will be added to your monthly phone bill. “Depending on the response to this pilot project, we’ll consider adding other service providers,” said a senior IT ministry official.

The official said there will be a dedicated RTI portal where all applications will be posted so that the public information officers can access them. “The portal will also help applicants check the status of their applications.” The portal is under construction, and the number you can call is being finalised.

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